Tip of the Week: To Custom Domain or Not…

The most common questions that we receive are regarding setting up your ‘custom domain’ with ShootProof. Admittedly, it’s the most complicated thing you can do on ShootProof (and really, it’s not so tough). Before we go into the geeky details, first determine which of these 3 categories you fall into to see if you actually want to set up a custom domain….

1. You don’t have a website, a domain name, or any online presence at all.

No problem – just point people to www.yourusername.shootproof.com – this is your ‘studio homepage‘, complete with a short bio area, your contact details, portfolio, and all of your non-private events. Done.

The upside: this is a no-brainer, sign up with ShootProof and you’re already done.

The downside: it’s not the most professional web presence, but it gets you online to show that you’re a legitimate business. You don’t have perks of a domain like an @yourwebsite.com email address, but hey, what’s wrong with gmail?

The How-To: Just sign up for ShootProof. Your username will be part of your web address, so you might want it to be something more along the lines of “BobsPhotography” rather than “ILikeBigButts”. Unless you do, indeed, like big butts.

2. You have your own website and just want to link to ShootProof for your galleries. You don’t know or care what a URL is.

The super easy way to link to your ShootProof galleries is just that – create a link. If you’ve got access to make changes on your website, you can add in a link to either your studio homepage (yourusername.shootproof.com) OR you can create links to individual galleries (such as yourusername.shootproof.com/smithwedding). This is a great way to send clients to your galleries from a blog post, your Facebook page, or the navigation links on your website. Just leave the ‘custom domain’ field in your ShootProof preferences blank!

The upside: This is really easy. If you’ve ever posted a link on Facebook or mass emailed a link to the Charlie bit my finger YouTube video (or intelligent, informative news about the current state of our economy for that matter, though it’s much less likely), you can share your ShootProof photo galleries.

The downside: Your URL (the web address that will show in you or your client’s web browser) isn’t necessarily pretty, and will have the word ‘shootproof’ in it. Many photographers don’t care if their clients see ‘shootproof’ (this is the only place they’ll ever see our name or branding). Honestly, many clients will never even notice the URL.

The How-To: You can literally cut and paste the link you see in your web browser to send it out; if you maintain your own website, chances are you know how to create a link, if not, check with your developer or your website software company to see how in your particular site. It usually requires some basic html code, or there’s the little link button that you just paste your link into. Your studio homepage will be located at yourusername.shootproof.com and you can still use short, custom URLs for each gallery, which makes it easier for you to pass on or for clients to remember (“Hey, you’ll be able to view your photos at out myname.shootproof.com/babylisa!” is easy to share).

3. You want your clients to feel as if they’ve never left your website when viewing their photos.

For the ultimate professional website appearance, you can create a subdomain of your own website and your clients will think you are a rock star with beautiful photo galleries all on your own, no help from some proofing site!

The upside: You can choose the URL people use to find their photos, and your website looks super pro. While it seems complicated, it really should take less than 5 minutes.

The downside: It takes a little bit of technical work to set up – it’s certainly not rocket science, and we have step-by-step instructions, but you’ll need access to your domain hosting account and the ability to follow directions….

The How-To:

First, decide what subdomain address you would like to use for your ShootProof proofing site (example: proofing.yourdomain.com, proofs.yourdomain.com, or clients.yourdomain.com). Enter this web address in the Custom Domain field in your preferences tab in your ShootProof studio panel.

Next, log into your internet hosting provider and find your DNS settings. Specifically, find where to enter a CNAME record. Each hosting service has slightly different ways to create CNAME records. Guidelines are provided here for some of the common services. When in doubt, check with the particular company you’re using for additional help or instructions (usually searching their ‘help’ section will give you detailed instructions. If your registrar is not listed below and you are not sure how to accomplish adding the CNAME to your domain contact us.

 

GoDaddy.com

  1. Log in to your account at www.godaddy.com.
  2. Open the Domains tab and select My Domain Names. You’ll be directed to the Domain Manager page.
  3. Click the domain that you’d like to use with your custom domain.
  4. Click the Total DNS Control And MX Records link at the bottom of the section entitled Total DNS.
  5. Click Add New CNAME Record in the box labelled CNAMES (aliases). If you’ve already created a CNAME record for your custom domain’s address, click the pencil icon next to the existing CNAME record.
  6. For the Name, enter only the subdomain of the address you want to use for your blog. For example, if you picked www.proofing.mydomain.com as your address, enter www.proofing here.
  7. Enter clients.shootproof.com as the Host Name. Specify a TTL or use the default setting of 1 hour.
  8. Click OK, and then click OK again.

 


 

1and1

  1. Log in to your account at https://admin.1and1.com
  2. If it’s not already selected, click the Administration tab.
  3. Click Domains. The Domain Overview page appears.
  4. From the New drop-down menu, select Create Subdomain. (If you’ve already created a subdomain for your custom domain’s address, skip to step six.)
  5. Enter only the subdomain you want to use, and click OK. For example, if you chose www.proofing.mydomain.com for your blog’s address, you should enter www.proofing here.
  6. Select the checkbox next to the subdomain that you will be using. (Example: www.mydomain.com)
  7. From the DNS menu, select Edit DNS Settings.
  8. Click the radio button next to CNAME.
  9. Enter clients.shootproof.com next to Alias.
  10. Click OK.

 


 

EveryDNS.net

  1. Log in to your account at EveryDNS.net.
  2. On the left side, click the domain you’d like to use with your custom domain.
  3. Since EveryDNS.net is your hosting service, and not your domain registrar, be sure that your domain points to EveryDNS.net’s nameservers. This will allow your CNAME record configuration to take effect.
  4. Below Add a Record:, you can create your CNAME record.
  5. Next to Fully Qualified Domain Name, enter only the subdomain you want to use. For example, if you picked www.proofing.mydomain.com as your custom domain’s address, just enter www.proofing as the entry next to Fully Qualified Domain Name.
  6. Select CNAME as the Record Type.
  7. Enter clients.shootproof.com as the Record Value.
  8. Click Add Record.

 


 

Yahoo!SmallBusiness

  1. Log in to your account at smallbusiness.yahoo.com.
  2. Click Domain Control Panel below the domain you’d like to use with your custom domain.
  3. Click Manage Advanced DNS Settings.
  4. Click Add Record.
  5. In the Source field, enter only the subdomain you want to use. For example, if you designated www.proofing.mydomain.com as the address of your custom domain, enter www.proofing in the Source field.
  6. Enter clients.shootproof.com in the Destination field.
  7. Click Submit.

 


 

No-IP

  1. Log in to your account at No-IP.
  2. On the left side, click Host/Redirects.
  3. Click Manage underneath Host/Redirects.
  4. Click Add for a new entry, or click Modify and skip to step six for an existing entry.
  5. Enter the host name (example: www.proofing from www.proofing.mydomain.com), and select your domain name.
  6. Select DNS alias CNAME at the host type.
  7. Enter clients.shootproof.com as the Target Host and click Modify.

 


 

DNS Park

  1. Log in to your account at DNS Park.
  2. On the left side, click DNS Hosting.
  3. Click the domain you’d like to use with your custom domain.
  4. Since DNS Park is your hosting service, and not your domain registrar, be sure that your domain points to DNS Park’s nameservers. This will allow your MX record configuration to take effect.
  5. Click Alias Records.
  6. Under Host Name, enter only the subdomain you want to use. If you picked www.proofing.mydomain.com as your custom domain’s address, enter www.proofing
  7. Under Destination Name, enter clients.shootproof.com.
  8. Click Add Alias.

 


 

Other domain registrars

  1. Log in to your account on your hosting service’s website, and go to the DNS management page.
    Since CNAME records are special Domain Name Service (DNS) records, they may be in sections such as DNS Management or Name Server Management. It’s possible that you will have to enable advanced settings to create a CNAME record.
  2. Delete existing CNAME entries for the address you want to use with your custom domain.
    Before entering a new CNAME record to point to ShootProof, you should first delete any existing entries for the same alias. If you plan to transfer an existing web address to ShootProof, you may want to copy any content currently at that address elsewhere first.
  3. Use the information in the following table when you create your CNAME record.
    If your service requires you to enter server information directly into the DNS tables, the entry below needs to have a type CNAME associated with them. 

    Host Name/Alias Value/Destination
    www clients.shootproof.com
    * This is the part of your website’s address that you designated. For instance, if you chose www.proofing.mydomain.com as the address, www.proofing is the host name.